C/EBPalpha and HNF6 protein complex formation stimulates HNF6-dependent transcription by CBP coactivator recruitment in HepG2 cells

Yoshida Y, Hughes DE, Rausa FM 3rd, Kim IM, Tan Y, Darlington GJ, Costa RH
Source: Hepatology
Publication Date: (2006)
Issue: 43(2): 276-86
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
HEPA 1-6
Species: mouse
Tissue Origin: liver
Nucleofectorâ„¢ I/II/2b
We previously demonstrated that formation of complexes between the DNA-binding domains of hepatocyte nuclear factor 6 (HNF6) and forkhead box a2 (Foxa2) proteins stimulated Foxa2 transcriptional activity. Here, we used HepG2 cell cotransfection assays to demonstrate that HNF6 transcriptional activity was stimulated by CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein alpha (C/EBPalpha), but not by the related C/EBPbeta or C/EBPdelta proteins. Formation of the C/EBPalpha-HNF6 protein complex required the HNF6 cut domain and the C/EBPalpha activation domain (AD) 1/AD2 sequences. This C/EBPalpha-HNF6 transcriptional synergy required both the N-terminal HNF6 polyhistidine and serine/threonine/proline box sequences, as well as the C/EBPalpha AD1/AD2 sequences, the latter of which are known to recruit the CREB binding protein (CBP) transcriptional coactivator. Consistent with these findings, adenovirus E1A-mediated inhibition of p300/CBP histone acetyltransferase activity abrogated C/EBPalpha-HNF6 transcriptional synergy in cotransfection assays. Co-immunoprecipitation assays with liver protein extracts demonstrate an association between the HNF6 and C/EBPalpha transcription factors and the CBP coactivator protein in vivo. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays with hepatoma cells demonstrated that increased levels of both C/EBPalpha and HNF6 proteins were required to stimulate association of these transcription factors and the CBP coactivator protein with the endogenous mouse Foxa2 promoter region. In conclusion, formation of the C/EBPalpha-HNF6 protein complex stimulates recruitment of the CBP coactivator protein for expression of Foxa2, a transcription factor critical for regulating expression of hepatic gluconeogenic genes during fasting.